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Wed, 2017-12-27 08:28

2018 Worth the Trust Young Adult Scholarship Winner: Melissa Baumann

Authored By: Melissa Baumann
Melissa Baumann and Ain't Misbehavin' II. Nick Goldsmith Photo.

The Worth the Trust Educational Scholarships are awarded annually to one Adult Amateur and one Young Adult Amateur to help fund training opportunities like clinics, working student positions, and private instruction. Below is the winning essay of the 2018 Worth the Trust Young Adult Scholarship. Congratulations to Melissa Baumann and best of luck in the future!

Ever since I stepped into a barn I knew that I had a passion for horses. I was taught by one of the greatest Morgan horse trainers when I was five years old. I learned that in order to ride horses you have to work for it.   That means cleaning stalls, sweeping the aisle, throwing down hay, and any other thing that needed to be done around the barn. I feel lucky that I learned that at a young age. It has created the dedication and commitment I now have. That passion, dedication, commitment, and work ethic have opened opportunities that this girl, who is one of five children from working class parents, usually does not get to experience. I worked my way through lessons by doing barn chores and riding the horses, usually the “naughty ponies,” that no one else could ride.

The world of eventing has been a powerful influence in my life. I started at Elementary level and just this year have attempted and successfully completed one Preliminary level event. Over the past four years, Jane Hamlin gave me an opportunity to be her working student. Deciding to be Jane’s working student was the best decision I have ever made for the start of my career. We have been through a lot together; including successful outings/clinics/trainings. We have also been through tragedies together, heartbreak after the loss of a loved one, a traumatic knee injury which left me with a full leg cast and unable to ride for three months (crutches in the barn are quite tricky!) and the normal ups and downs of everyday life. Jane is a terrific lady, clinician, judge, competitor, and horseman. I am so honored to call her my friend.

I am fortunate to have earned a fantastic “inner circle” of support. There have been many wonderful, thoughtfulm and giving people who have helped me along the way. Several of these people were nice enough to write the attached letters of recommendation for me. My main focus is to continue to learn and grow in the equine industry. I have created a personal learning plan which allows flexibility to incorporate my training and work along with my full time high school requirements. This year I visited the University of Kentucky’s equine department and I am earnestly looking to continue with my education. I supplemented my visit to UK with time volunteering at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. I found both experiences very valuable.

The Worth the Trust Scholarship would enable me to compliment the classroom with continuing my professional hands-on experience. I am currently working on an internship experience with Buck Davidson for this coming winter season in Florida. The Scholarship would enable me to participate and I would love to share my experience with the equine community, especially young riders who are looking for direction. I plan to return as Jane Hamlin’s working student again next event season, and hopefully I will be able to participate in clinics with eventing professionals. An additional educational opportunity I have begun work on is to travel to Ireland and complete an internship with Carol Gee-owner/breeder of “Fernhill Sport Horses." This would be a wonderful opportunity and would make another interesting tale to share with up and coming young riders.

My work ethic, dedication, horsemanship, and passion have enabled my development into an equestrian that values all learning opportunities for both me and my equine partner. I will continue to strive for excellence and work my hardest to reach my goals. I would sincerely like to thank the scholarship panel and Joan Iversen Goswell for your time and dedication to assisting a developing equestrian like myself to be able to reach our goals that we might not otherwise reach without the financial support offered by the Worth the Trust Scholarship.

The USEA is now accepting applications for the 2019 Worth the Trust Educational and Sports Psychology Scholarships. The deadline for application is October 1, 2018.

Educational Scholarship Applications: Young Adult Amateur | Adult Amateur 

Sports Psychology Scholarship Applications: Young Adult Amateur | Adult Amateur

About the Worth the Trust Scholarship


Karen O'Connor aboard Worth the Trust, pictured with owner Joan Goswell. Dara Dickey Photo.

Now entering its 18th year, the Worth the Trust Scholarship continues to provide financial assistance for young adult amateurs and adult amateurs for the purpose of pursuing continued education in eventing. This scholarship is provided by Joan Iversen Goswell in honor of her horse, Worth the Trust, a 15.3 hand Thoroughbred gelding (Wind and Wuthering x Stop Over Station), who competed successfully for many years, including winning the Kentucky Three-Day Event in 1997 with Karen O'Connor. Click here to read the story of Worth the Trust's 1997 Kentucky Three-Day Event win. 

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